Funding approved for Oliver Arena ProjectNews Article
The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) and the Town of Oliver are pleased to announce combined federal and provincial funding for the Oliver & District Arena Rehabilitation project has been approved. The overall cost of the project is estimated at $3.145 million. Grant funding for the upgrade project of $2.3 million has been approved by The Government of Canada through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) – Community, Culture and Recreation (CCR). The remaining funds will come through capital reserves and borrowing.
“The Oliver and District Arena has been serving communities for over 50 years, allowing them to make memories, form bonds, and stay active,” said the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada, on behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities. “The investments our Government is making will ensure that the arena can continue to fulfill its purpose now and into the future. I am pleased that Okanagan-Similkameen and area residents will soon benefit from a safer, more accessible, and energy efficient public space that they can enjoy for generations to come”.
“For communities across this province, arenas are much more than a sheet of ice and a couple of penalty boxes. They provide a gathering place for friends and family to connect and celebrate a game that’s part of our national identity,” said Nathan Cullen, Minister of Municipal Affairs. “Rehabilitating this arena is a team effort, and I’m happy to provide an assist.”
The RDOS and the Oliver Parks and Recreation Society are undertaking a project to complete repairs and upgrades to the arena. Engineering, design, and procurement are planned for 2023, with construction work scheduled to begin in the summer of 2024.
The improvements included in the Arena Rehabilitation Project will ensure the Oliver & District Arena continues to serve the Town of Oliver, RDOS Electoral Area “C” and Osoyoos Indian Band as a key regional hub for sport and sports tourism, special events, recreation, and wellness.
“Funding support from the provincial and federal governments is vital to ensure the Oliver & District Arena is a safe and functional facility for many years to come,” said RDOS Chair Mark Pendergraft.
“The Osoyoos Indian Band is very proud and grateful for the many years of opportunity that the Oliver & District Arena has provided to the OIB Hockey Clubs, the Inkameep War Bonnets and the Wolf Creek Chargers,” said Osoyoos Indian Band Chief Clarence Louie. “Over the past 50 years, the rink has provided a place for our youth to play in minor sport and for lifelong friendships to be created through the sport of hockey that last to this day.”
“The funding announcement for the Oliver Arena is absolutely outstanding news,” said Electoral Area “C” Director Rick Knodel. “We all have been waiting for this news for some time now and are very excited to hear that we can now move ahead with this project. The Arena is one of the key anchors for the Oliver Parks and Recreation platform and this assures stability in the operation going forward. As has been stated, the facility is overdue for an upgrade and refit. The Oliver Parks and Recreation staff deserve to be highly commended as they have done an amazing job keeping it functioning while we waited on the needed funding. Well done everyone.”
“The Oliver and District Arena is vitally important to this community,” said Town of Oliver Mayor Martin Johansen. “Replacing the ice sheet within the constraints of the existing structure is a cost effective way of modernizing this important community facility and will extend the service life of the arena for many years to come.”
The Oliver & District Arena was built in 1969. While the facility has been in use for more than five decades, many key components of the building have reached the end of their useful life. The looped ice cooling system and slab floor are prematurely failing, multiple building features no longer meet safety codes, and the facility is largely inaccessible to people with certain mobility challenges.
For further information, please contact Mark Woods, RDOS Manager of Community Services.
Mark Pendergraft, Chair
Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen
Clarence Louis, Chief
Osoyoos Indian Band
Rick Knodel, Area “C” Director
Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen
Martin Johansen, Mayor
Town of Oliver
RDOS Manager of Community Services
RDOS Toll Free
Oliver & District Arena 2021
Oliver & District Arena front entrance